Apartment tour: 1BR in the East Village

You won't find Ikea furniture or days-old pizza boxes in performer Ben Jacobson's newly renovated bachelor pad.

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  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    In 2003, performer Ben Jacobson purchased and moved into this 800-square-foot...

    In 2003, performer Ben Jacobson purchased and moved into this 800-square-foot abode, but it wasn't until recently that he decided he wanted to truly make the space his home. "I looked around a lot to see about moving or buying a place elsewhere," he admits. "I wasn't sure if this was really where I wanted to set up." In January, he enlisted the help of Sexy Bachelor Pad (sexybachelorpad.com)---the single-male--focused arm of Kimberlee Paige Hanson and Darren Irving's firm, Interior Bliss Design (interiorblissdesign.com)---for a top-to-bottom renovation. The Soho company is known for its use of reclaimed materials and its back-to-basics approach; as such, walls were knocked down to expose brick and ceilings were raised for a loft-like feel. "Kimberlee seems to like to take things down to what they are inherently and put back only what's required," explains Jacobson. "We didn't want to add a lot---just return to the elements."

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    Jacobson replaced his old orange two-seater couch with this wraparound...

    Jacobson replaced his old orange two-seater couch with this wraparound sectional from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (210 Lafayette at Kenmare Sq; 212-431-2575, www.mgbwhome.com). "I didn't know I could get one this small," he says. "It suits the space." A framed Kandinsky print and handcrafted belt-and-pulley-system fans from Woolen Mill Fan Company (architecturalfans.com) hang above his revamped living space.

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    This riveted polished-aluminum coffee table from Restoration Hardware is...

    This riveted polished-aluminum coffee table from Restoration Hardware is inspired by an airplane fuselage. "It kind of looks James Bond--y to me," notes Jacobson. "Like I need a weapons cache in the drawer." It sits on top of a striped rug he purchased while visiting some friends just outside Albuquerque.

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    Scandinavian shelves from Modernlink hold Jacobson's considerable book...

    Scandinavian shelves from Modernlink hold Jacobson's considerable book collection. "They are so incredibly lightweight, you wouldn't think they could support half of what they have on there," he marvels. A good part of the bulk comes from his growing stack of National Geographic magazines. "That was always in my family, so I keep going with it," he explains. The taxidermied butterfly shadow boxes are from the Evolution Store (120 Spring St between Greene and Mercer Sts; 212-343-1114, theevolutionstore.com).

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    To access the ceiling-height cubbies Sexy Bachelor Pad built out of reclaimed...

    To access the ceiling-height cubbies Sexy Bachelor Pad built out of reclaimed wood, Jacobson installed a library ladder from Putnam Rolling Ladder Co., Inc. (32 Howard St at Crosby St; 212-226-5147, putnamrollingladder.com). The well-worn buffalo-leather chair is also from Modernlink, and previously served as a reading chair in the opposite corner of the room.

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    Before the renovation, Jacobson's radiator was built into the wall under the...

    Before the renovation, Jacobson's radiator was built into the wall under the window. "It was this small, nasty thing that, especially once we tore the wall down, just looked so horrible," he recalls. Hanson discovered this ornate vintage one in upstate New York and had it refinished inside the apartment. "They built a tent around it and this guy went in with a respirator on to paint it white---wild."

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    Jacobson purchased this taxidermied ermine from San Francisco gardening and...

    Jacobson purchased this taxidermied ermine from San Francisco gardening and oddities shop Paxton Gate (paxtongate.com).

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    An abundance of light floods through a newly replaced skylight---so much, in...

    An abundance of light floods through a newly replaced skylight---so much, in fact, that Jacobson ordered a retractable shade for it. "It's like a greenhouse in here," boasts Jacobson. "On a sunny, warm day, you can get a tan."

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    This spacious, open-plan kitchen is a far cry from the enclosed galley Jacobson...

    This spacious, open-plan kitchen is a far cry from the enclosed galley Jacobson previously had. "My old kitchen was so claustrophobic," he says. "It had a 15- or 20-inch stove and the sink sat on top of the fridge---it was tiny." He now has a breakfast bar flanked by Design Legacy barstools that are embellished with French enamel numbers. "You can't pick your own numbers, I found out," laughs Jacobson. "You take what they give you."

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    "I love lighting and I knew I wanted a lot [of it]," remarks Jacobson, who had...

    "I love lighting and I knew I wanted a lot [of it]," remarks Jacobson, who had utility pendant lights from Restoration Hardware installed in the kitchen. Sexy Bachelor Pad assembled the blue fixtures dangling above the breakfast bar from various parts.

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    In an effort to keep things streamlined and accessible, Sexy Bachelor Pad...

    In an effort to keep things streamlined and accessible, Sexy Bachelor Pad created this rustic shelf using reclaimed wood and salvaged brackets. A magnetic strip from Sur La Table (1320 Third Ave between 75th and 76th Sts; 646-843-7984, surlatable.com) puts knives within easy reach. "And it's not a knife block, which has such a 1970s vibe," points out Jacobson.

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    Joined by Hanson, Jacobson picked out this Aga stove at Gringer and Sons (29...

    Joined by Hanson, Jacobson picked out this Aga stove at Gringer and Sons (29 First Ave at 2nd St; 212-475-0600, gringerandsons.com). "It has both a delicate and a masculine quality at the same time," he reflects. "I definitely knew I didn't want the stainless steel look." To offset the range's rich blue color, he tops it with a sleek, silvery Le Creuset teakettle.

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    This built-in wine rack was a welcome surprise from the demolition. "I came in...

    This built-in wine rack was a welcome surprise from the demolition. "I came in one day to grab some stuff and I see this giant hole in my wall," recalls Jacobson. "The masons were like, 'Don't worry about it,' and I thought, What are they doing, putting a window in?" To construct the nook, Sexy Bachelor Pad used wood beams that once crossed over the old skylight in Jacobson's apartment.

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    The bathroom was the first project Jacobson hired Sexy Bachelor Pad to tackle,...

    The bathroom was the first project Jacobson hired Sexy Bachelor Pad to tackle, nearly eight years ago when he first met Hanson (she was working on the apartment below his), and it has since been through several incarnations. "It used to be a tropical, aqua glass and it was just so hard to keep clean," he notes. "This is calming; it's very neutral, and the bathroom needs to appeal to every part of your day."

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    "It has that subway-station, everything's-built-in feel," says Jacobson of the...

    "It has that subway-station, everything's-built-in feel," says Jacobson of the bathroom's open shelving, created using tiles from Nemo Tile (48 E 21st St between Broadway and Park Ave South; 212-505-0009, nemotile.com). "I like everything accessible and simple."

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    Jacobson's bedroom has yet to receive an upgrade and still boasts the...

    Jacobson's bedroom has yet to receive an upgrade and still boasts the "curiosity-shop vibe" that once pervaded the rest of his apartment. "I like to collect things, and it was a little overwhelming," he admits. "I've actually pared down quite a bit, and a lot of it was unnecessary and just repetitive. Having less [clutter] helps me focus and relax."

  • Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

    Sexy Bachelor Pad created these louvered closet doors out of a patchwork of...

    Sexy Bachelor Pad created these louvered closet doors out of a patchwork of reclaimed wood. The globe on Jacobson's nightstand is actually a lamp that was a gift from a friend. "I've had some people in my life that have given me things that I can preserve their memory with," he reflects.

Photograph: Susanna Blavarg

In 2003, performer Ben Jacobson purchased and moved into this 800-square-foot...

In 2003, performer Ben Jacobson purchased and moved into this 800-square-foot abode, but it wasn't until recently that he decided he wanted to truly make the space his home. "I looked around a lot to see about moving or buying a place elsewhere," he admits. "I wasn't sure if this was really where I wanted to set up." In January, he enlisted the help of Sexy Bachelor Pad (sexybachelorpad.com)---the single-male--focused arm of Kimberlee Paige Hanson and Darren Irving's firm, Interior Bliss Design (interiorblissdesign.com)---for a top-to-bottom renovation. The Soho company is known for its use of reclaimed materials and its back-to-basics approach; as such, walls were knocked down to expose brick and ceilings were raised for a loft-like feel. "Kimberlee seems to like to take things down to what they are inherently and put back only what's required," explains Jacobson. "We didn't want to add a lot---just return to the elements."

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ABC Carpet & Home (888 Broadway at 19th St; 212-473-3000, abchome.com)
Like most design geeks, Jacobson can't resist this home-decor mecca. "I've gotten a lot of stuff there over the years; they have such a variety," he explains. "I have to try to stay out of there."

Anthropologie (various locations throughout the city; visit anthropologie.com)
"Usually when you're in there, you're waiting for someone," jokes Jacobson of this women's clothing store, which also has a stellar selection of housewares (it's where he purchased his glasses and dipping bowls). "So it's good that they have some stuff for guys."

Modernlink (35 Bond St between Bowery and Lafayette St; 212-254-1300, modernlink.com)
"I really like the Scandinavian aesthetic," says Jacobson, who has been known to pop into this mostly Danish furniture store on occasion.

Restoration Hardware (935 Broadway at 22nd St; 212-260-9479, restorationhardware.com)
Jacobson is a fan of this home-furnishing chain's Blackhawk line of polished-aluminum pieces. "If I had more room, they have a desk, these big chairs, and they all have this riveted look," he enthuses.

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